On July 2, 2022, in the festive hall of the Sofitel Hotel in Abidjan, Miss Ivory Coast was elected. Every year, COMICI, Comité Miss Côte d’Ivoire and Ivorian mobile phone networks invite their subscribers to elect the new Ivorian beauty queen. This year, this election will take place in the presence of Miss World 2021 Karolina Bielawska, under the eyes of Olivia Yacé, second runner-up of the last edition of Miss World. The party will be guaranteed.
Who wears the Miss CI sling?
All eyes were on the Sofitel Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan. The vast Felix Houphouët-Boigny Hall of Feasts, dressed in light, was full of lovely people. Names thrown in the air by the master of ceremonies. Beautiful young women, graceful, all beautiful as each other, parade on the podium. Flowery presentations. Hearty applause. Performances by artists. A bailiff proclaims names. Successively, young ladies come forward, greet and bow. A name: Miss Marlene Kouassi Kany! A charming young lady, her hair cut to the ground, advances delicately, almost on tiptoe, with perfect grace. She rejoices and collapses. Applause and lively: “Long live Miss!”
Marlène Kouassi Kany: the queen of Ivorian queens
The public and jury chose Ms Marlene Kouassi Kany, a 23-year-old master’s student in private law. The youngest of seven children, she was shortlisted in Aboisso in the Comoé region. Marlene’s choice has been a hot topic on social media. It’s an unchanging ritual; it’s the same story every year. The miss went on the grill. Olivia did. Time made them lie. We got used to it. Until the next election, the life of Miss Marlene Kouassi Kany will be charged; it will change in every detail. She won’t have a minute left. Her habits will be set like clockwork. From now on, the Oliva Yacé page has turned. In replacement, Marlène Kouassi, the new Ivorian beauty queen, will preside over all the activities of COMICI, the Miss Côte d’Ivoire Committee, with two dolphins by her side: Mlles Diako Nassita and Gnakpa Laure. But, this life also has its advantages: fame, notoriety, a new car.
A crown too heavy to wear?
Before Miss Olivia Yacé, no one would have doubted Marlene Kouassi’s ability to carry the country’s colours high. But Olivia Yacé, let’s face it, set the bar too high. And then, Marlene’s speech in the final left many Ivorians puzzled. In essence, she said she wanted to “work for the reintegration of young people who drop out of school”. Amazing! In front of my television, I wanted to yell at her: “But that kind of thing is over. It’s 2022, my big one! Come on!” If Marlene does not review her position, she risks remaining in the shadow of Olivia Yacé who had succeeded in astonishing the world by her presence. There is the Miss World contest on the horizon. Now, the focus is on the education and intelligence of the candidates. At this level, beauty alone is not enough. Each Miss must choose “an activist platform to promote during her one-year term”. The world today is resolutely focused on climate, gender, human rights and emerging democracies, and she talks about ‘reintegration’ and ‘dropping out of school’. She would gain by quickly finding a theme that will make her stand out. The game has only just begun.